- Nearly all IT hiring managers (95%) in a new Robert Half Technology (RHT) survey admitted making a bad hire at some point, and 38% said the bad hires stem from bringing in people with the wrong skills. Other reasons for the bad hire were interpersonal issues (29%) and a poor corporate culture fit (28%), which accounted for half the number of bad hires, said RHT.
- Those issues line up with which aspects of candidates are hardest to evaluate, including technical skills, cultural fit and soft skills.
- To avoid hiring mistakes, RHT recommended that IT hiring managers: 1) Start with a sold job description; 2) conduct a technical skills test; 3) include direct reports, colleagues and peers early in the interview process; 4) decide which skills are must-haves versus nice-to-haves, and train candidates with potential; and 5) consider hiring a contract worker to assess for a possible full-time position.
Bad hires can cost employers both in the short-term in replacement costs and potentially in the long-term if they sow strife and malcontent among the rest of the workforce, giving employers reason to emphasize a solid interviewing process. But bad hires are also nearly impossible to completely avoid.
Kathleen Downs, vice president for Robert Half Finance & Accounting, told HR Dive in a recent interview that a bad hire can vary from someone who makes too many mistakes, to someone who shows up late all the time, to someone who just doesn't fit with the culture. Employers need to look back at the start of the hiring process to determine the cause. Employers must consider whether the onboarding process, clarity about the desired skills and job responsibilities, or other issues in the hiring process are at play in the mishiring.
Employers must decide whether they're hiring candidates because of their current skills or because of their potential, Mike McGowan, managing director and practice leader, leadership and talent for BPI Group, told HR Dive. The latter consideration might make reforming bad hires a more suitable choice over the costly process of replacing them.
If the problem with new hires is about attitude rather than skills, replacing them might be necessary to avoid interpersonal conflicts and damage to morale.